Trinidad and Tobago 122-5 (Ramdin 41, Malan 2-11) beat
Middlesex 117-8 (Dexter 39, Rampaul 4-25) by 5 wickets
Stanford Super Series Game 3, Coolidge, Antigua
By Jim White
‘Expecting The Unexpected’ appears to be the motto for Antigua. After two evenings of bright lights and dropped catches, the first of the big money matches in Antigua finally got underway as Trinidad and Tobago and Middlesex pitted their wits, and reputations, against each other at the Stanford Cricket Ground. In the battle of the domestic champions, there was also national pride at stake, so having won the toss Middlesex elected to bat.
A slow start against leg-spin and good seam bowling saw Middlesex crawl to 40-4 at the halfway stage. Only Eoin Morgan (30 from 31 balls) and Neil Dexter (39 from 25 balls) made any impressions on the bowling, well managed by the Trinidad and Tobago captain Daren Ganga. Dexter’s cameo contained two fours and three sixes to give the English team some hope as they stumbled to 117-8 from their 20 overs.
In reply however, Middlesex had the dream start, claiming two wickets in the first two overs. As the more traditional approach of swing continued, Darren Ganga literally had to use his head – keeping a rebound off the stumps with a ‘header’ as the ball dropped off the wicket, before using it involuntarily but in a more othordox way to a surprise bouncer from Neil Carter.
The scores continued to be neck and neck before Dawid Malan’s leg-spin claimed the wickets of both Ganga brothers inside his first over to give Middlesex some hope of claiming the big money prize. However, Daren’s Ganga’s 28 from 35 balls and Dinesh Ramdin’s 41 off 28 balls, was enough to see the West Indian Twenty20 champions home. A huge six driven down the ground by Daren Bravo secured the five-wicket win and sparked wild celebrations all around the ground.
© Cricket World 2008